In the News—Week of August 23 2021

 In The Title Trove

Around the Nation

Brookfield in talks to get into student housing venture   

Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management is in advanced talks to form a joint $1 billion venture with Chicago-based Scion Group LLC to get into student-housing properties, Bloomberg reports via Crain’s Chicago Business. Brookfield, an alternative-asset manager, would be making its first investment in the student-housing sector. Scion operates a portfolio of 58,700 beds, many near campuses, including Arizona State University and the University of Texas at Austin. 

Energy & Environment

BBVA will promote energy upgrades to buildings in Spain                    

BBVA has partnered with Acciona to inform, advise and finance projects for energy efficiency upgrades in buildings in Spain, the bank announced on its website. Spanish buildings are among the most energy obsolete in Europe. The program is to help comply with the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. BBVA says it will contact close to 3,000 homeowners in an effort to help energy efficiency. Customers will able to enlist Acciona, an energy services company, to help plan upgrades and process subsidies from the Spanish government.


Former Hughes CEO starts private CRE investment firm with Houston focus         

Former Howard Hughes Corp. CEO Paul Layne is off on a new venture, a privately held commercial real estate investment firm that will focus on properties in and around Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports. The firm, Layne Property Partners, includes some properties its family had previously bought. Layne left Howard Hughes last September after stock fell 54% in nine months. “It was my intention to retire,” Layne said. But after six months of playing golf, he got the itch to get back to work. 

Another win for Texas: AECOM moves headquarters from LA to Dallas 

Time marches on and big companies keep marching out of California to Texas, the Los Angeles Times reports. AECOM, a Fortune 500 company that describes itself as an infrastructure consulting firm, is shifting its headquarters from Los Angeles to Dallas. CEO Troy Rudd and other corporate leaders will move to existing offices in Dallas. The company has nearly 50,000 workers worldwide. “Dallas has emerged as a U.S. hub for corporate headquarters and a compelling corporate talent magnet, particularly among our peers and public companies in the engineering and consulting sectors,” a company spokesman tells the Times. 


Arizona leads the nation with cheapest median price per acre  

Arizona land is not exactly dirt cheap. But the dirt is cheaper than all other states, AZ Big Media reports. Research from, shows that the median price per acre is $4,160. Rhode Island has the most expensive land with a median price of $350,000 per acre. New Mexico has the second lowest median price at $6,000 an acre. New York, known for its skyscrapers and sky-high real estate prices, actually has the sixth cheapest land at $12,027 per acre. Utah, surprisingly has the fifth most expensive median price per acre at $195,000 per acre.


Demand for real estate shoots up as sector continues to recover  

Demand for real estate across the board rose sharply the first quarter, Mexico Business News reports. Figures from Lamudi, a real estate platform, showed an increase in demand of 67% year over year for residential, commercial, industrial, office and land. Lamudi expects an expansion of 3.5% for the year in the sector.

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